Analysis of Desalination Discharge Brines by ICP-OES

Metals Analysis and Remediation
Poster Presentation

Prepared by K. Young, S. Smith, K. Neubauer
PerkinElmer Inc., 710 Bridgeport Ave, M/S 293, Shelton, Connecticut, 06484, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 203-402-1865


In many parts of the world where water resources are scarce, drinking water is obtained through desalination of sea water. Although several desalination processes exist, the most commonly used is reverse osmosis (RO). In RO, seawater is passed through a membrane at high pressure, producing clean water. The products removed by the membrane (i.e. salts and impurities) are discharged back into the environment as a brine, with salinities ranging from 10% to 100% higher than seawater. However, other impurities may be present and must be monitored. The salinity of the discharge brine, the monitored elements, and their concentrations vary from country to country as no international regulations exist.

This work will discuss the analysis of desalination discharge brines, focusing on elements and limits from several countries where desalination plays an important role in the production of potable water.